Posted on 19 April 2012.
The fifth Annual “Soar to New Heights: A STEM-ulating Adventure” summer camp for gifted and talented learners will be June 18-29 at Eastern Kentucky University.
This summer’s camp will offer students an opportunity to explore current topics in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health in a state-of-the-art instructional and research facility.
The courses, collaboratively designed and implemented by Eastern Kentucky University STEM-H faculty and gifted/talented graduate students, are targeted to students entering grades 4-6 in the fall. The half-day program runs from 8 a.m. to noon daily with a tuition cost of $65 per student.
A brochure detailing the class offerings as well as special events for parents and students will be available soon. For more information, contact Debra Sparks.
Posted in Bulletin Board, Resources
Posted on 05 April 2012.
NASA blends science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) using education resources related to current and future missions in this conference, scheduled for June 20-21 in Richmond and June 26-27 in Corbin.
The summer workshops provided by NASA Aerospace Education Services Project and the Southeast/Southcentral Educational Cooperative (SESC) will explore engineering design challenges, problem-based learning activities, distance-learning modules, inquiry-based lessons, literacy across the curriculum and hands-on projects while targeting the Next Generation Standards.
Register online at https://coetech.eku.edu/registration/Online_PD_RegForm.php or call Sarah Evans at (859) 622-8488 for more information.
Posted in Bulletin Board, Conferences & Workshops
Posted on 29 March 2012.
More than 6,000 students, educators and parents gathered at the seventh annual Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship on March 22 at Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center.
P-12 students from across the state showed what they know and can do with technology in arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and many marketable career skills by participating in 42 different STLP learning categories.
The event empowers students to use technology to problem-solve, create content, learn and achieve. Thousands of adults supported this 21st-century learning event as chaperones, mentors and judges. Read stories written by cyber-reporting students about the exciting event at http://jcps.jefferson.kyschools.us/cybergazette/.
Out of nearly 500 projects, three schools were named Best in State in Project Showcase. The three schools will attend the International Society of Technology Education (ISTE) Conference in San Diego, Calif., June 23-26, representing STLP as Student Showcases.
Best in State
- Oakview Elementary (Ashland Independent)
- James E Bazzell Middle (Allen County)
- Woodford County High Read the full story
Posted in News
Posted on 06 March 2012.
By Nancy C. Rodriguez
Henderson County High School junior Jake Walker, Russell High School sophomore Morgan Casto and Murray High School sophomore Tiffany Parham laugh with House Education Chairman and state Rep. Carl Rollins as he jokes with them about education bills during the inaugural meeting of the Next-Generation Student Council in Frankfort. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 28, 2012
They are usually on the receiving end of instruction, but last Tuesday a group of teenagers from around the state schooled Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on what it is like to be a high school student in Kentucky.
The students – members of the inaugural Next-Generation Student Council that was announced in January – left few topics untouched, moving seamlessly between discussing ways to make dual-credit courses more affordable and concerns about end-of-course exams to debating the merits of raising the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18.
“We’re really excited about you guys being here, and we’re looking forward to the feedback you’re going to give us,” Holliday told the 11-member council during its first meeting. “We want to hear what’s exciting to you about school and what’s not exciting.”
Holliday announced this past fall he was creating the council as a way to get student input on school issues and receive feedback on how state-level decisions are affecting students throughout Kentucky.
Students applied to be on the council, which was open to public school students in 10th through 12th grades. The inaugural council includes students who hail from all corners of the state, from Murray to Pikeville, and everywhere in between. They also represent diverse academic and demographic backgrounds as well as school sizes. This first group of students will serve during the 2011-12 school year, and those who are not graduating seniors may reapply to serve in the 2012-13 school year. Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 28 February 2012.
Powell County High School senior Alicia Wasson works on mathematics problems in her bedroom as part of the Snowbound Program in Powell County. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 12, 2012.
By Susan Riddell
In December of 2010, Powell County students were in school for just five days thanks to inclement weather and poor road conditions.
By the end of the harsh winter, the district had called off school 27 times.
Further south, the Owsley County school district had missed 25 days.
Luckily, both districts were participating in a Snowbound Pilot program that allowed them to make up school days in a variety of ways, from sending home “snow packets” containing school work to providing online learning opportunities for students in all grade levels.
Powell County made up five days through the pilot and Owsley six.
“Our district really benefitted from this program last year,” said Sarah Wasson, director of pupil personnel for Powell County. “We were able to make up some days, but that wasn’t really the biggest benefit.
“The best part was, we were able to keep students learning,” she added. “After December, we had three days of school in January, but missed the entire next week. It was rough.” Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 16 February 2012.
Bob Fortney, a senior consultant in the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Office of District 180, is the recipient of the 2012 Kentucky Society for Technology in Education (KySTE) Outstanding Leader award, which will be presented at the KySTE spring conference March 9 in Louisville.
Each year, KySTE presents awards for outstanding leader, teacher and technology staff member, based on their work and achievement in the education technology area. State-level winners’ names are submitted to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) for consideration of national-level recognition.
Fortney, a resident of Lexington, was nominated by Tara Rodriguez, a teacher liaison for the Kentucky Virtual High School in the KDE Division of Student Success. In her nomination, Rodriguez noted Fortney has a belief that online or blended learning can improve the educational experience for students from all backgrounds, abilities and talents.
“He also envisions the possibilities that individualized digital learning can offer to disengaged students or those who attend failing schools,” said Rodriguez. “Bob’s enthusiasm for digital learning is evident in his work, his professional associations and in his communication with colleagues and parents.”
Fortney has worked closely with the Kentucky Virtual High School, the federal Ready to Teach program, the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS) project and other digital learning projects. Read the full story
Posted in Leadership Letter
Posted on 07 February 2012.
By Susan Riddell
Craig Scharf talks with his STEM Academy students Josh Lindsey and Vaughn Reed about entering the Team America Rocketry Challenge at Muhlenberg County High School. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 6, 2012
Craig Scharf, who taught college classes prior to coming to Muhlenberg County High School, could always spot the students who were prepared for his classes from the ones who weren’t.
“I could tell the kids who had a good background in research and critical thinking from the ones who hadn’t,” said Scharf, who has been at the recently consolidated Muhlenberg County High for 10 years. “I come from a research background, and I honestly believe students who think for themselves and can master independent research will be best prepared for college.”
With that in mind, Scharf and his colleagues at Muhlenberg County High launched an effort this school year that aims to help students better prepare for college by taking a rigorous series of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classes.
The STEM Academy, as it is called, is an outgrowth of a Project Lead the Way (PLTW) biomedical science program the school started in 2009. The biomedical science program was such a hit with students that administrators decided to form an entire STEM Academy.
“The academy was brought on board to increase the rigor of our course offerings, provide in-depth training for our instructors and put real-world applications and technology in the hands of our students,” said Principal Matt Perkins. Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 26 January 2012.
Digital Learning Day is Wednesday, Feb. 1, and it culminates a year-round national awareness campaign to improve teaching and learning for all children.
Digital learning is any instructional practice that is effectively using technology to strengthen the student learning experience. Digital learning encompasses a wide spectrum of tools and practice, including using online and formative assessment; increasing focus and quality of teaching resources and time; online content and courses; applications of technology in the classroom and school building; adaptive software for students with special needs; learning platforms; participating in professional communities of practice; providing access to high level and challenging content and instruction; and many other advancements technology provides to teaching and learning.
On Digital Learning Day, teachers, librarians, school leaders, after-school programs, community groups, parents and others can show their support by signing up and pledging to focus on digital learning, try new technology or resources or showcase successes. A number of Kentucky schools and organizations already have signed up.
Toolkits for teachers and other school personnel are available here.
Visit the Digital Learning Day website for more details.
Posted in Announcements, Bulletin Board, Resources
Posted on 03 January 2012.
By Susan Riddell
Special education teacher Andrea Meyer, stationed in Kuwait, waves goodbye to her class at Lincoln Trail Elementary School (Hardin County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Dec. 14, 2011
It’s not unusual for a student to read books to his or her teacher. It’s also not unusual for a student to sing songs or bring a photo from home to share with a teacher.
Andrea Meyer’s special education students at Lincoln Trail Elementary (Hardin County) spent a recent Wednesday morning doing these same things with her. The unusual thing was she wasn’t even in the United States at the time.
The students were Skyping with her while she serves active duty at Camp Arifjan in the southeastern part of Kuwait.
Meyer found out in September she was going to be spending a year in Kuwait. One of her first thoughts was of her students. It was going to be a difficult transition for many of them, especially since the school year had already begun.
“I couldn’t even begin to imagine how I was going to tell them, much less what I was going to tell them,” said Meyer, who serves as a lieutenant colonel in the United State Army Reserve. “It is harder for me because I have been with these kiddos since some of them were 7 years old. Some couldn’t speak very well; some didn’t eat; not one of them could read a single word, and now when you see them in the regular 5th-grade classroom with their peers, it’s hard to tell them apart.” Read the full story
Posted in Features
Posted on 20 December 2011.
By Susan Riddell
Rebecca Logan helps students come to their own conclusions during her 5th-grade STEM class at Elkhorn Elementary School (Franklin County). Photo by Amy Wallot, Nov. 9, 2011
A 5th-grade girl in Rebecca Logan’s class at Elkhorn Elementary School (Franklin County) had barely spoken during the first two months of the school year.
“She was so shy, and I don’t remember her being excited about anything in class,” Logan said.
But when the class was working on a Mars rover STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curriculum project, the girl’s model design was chosen by her team to be built and used for competition.
“That just validated something in her, and she totally took off with the unit we were studying,” Logan said. “I’ve just been blown away by this project and the curriculum. It’s really given my quieter students a voice and the confidence to take on more leadership roles. Every child is engaged. It’s just been amazing to watch.”
This past spring, Logan’s class piloted a STEM Mars rover project, which involved students working with radio-controlled car parts and batteries to create cardboard-constructed models. The lesson, made possible by Franklin County High School engineering instructor Mark Harrell and Project Lead the Way, was such a big hit with her students, Logan spent her summer researching ways to fill her curriculum with STEM activities throughout the day.
“I teach language arts in the morning, and the rest of the day is devoted to STEM,” Logan said. “STEM is just so important today if you are looking at the workforce. I think it’s a great idea to go ahead and introduce young students to it. Read the full story
Posted in Features